Learn more about IRW's staff, including one of their "Favorite Children's Book" choices.
Jan Coates, Executive Director
As founding Executive Director, Jan provides leadership and oversight to all things IRW. She is currently focusing on organizational planning and design, staff development, constituent engagement, and fund-raising.
Prior to founding IRW in 2006, Jan was a senior administrator/Dean at Albion College in Michigan and Hamilton College in New York, then owner and manager of Port In A Storm Bookstore in Somesville, ME.
Jan holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and currently serves on the Rudman Library Trust Grant Committee of the Maine Community Foundation and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve. She resides in Hall Quarry on Mount Desert Island.
Book jacket: "Harold and the Purple Crayon," by Crockett Johnson
Ruth leads IRW’s ongoing expansion efforts in Washington County; creates programs that excite kids to love reading and learning; continues to develop partnerships and community relationships; and ensures meaningful program assessment and documentation.
She has been an independent consultant in the social entrepreneurial field, and most recently served as Executive Director of the Project for School Innovation in Boston, MA.
Ruth holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer and Fulbright Scholar. She resides with her family in Milbridge, ME.
Book jacket: "The Little Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Jenna provides administrative and creative support to the organization, writes various forms of communication ranging from press releases to social media posts, designs complementary book-related materials, and facilitates effective communication between IRW staff and the organization’s numerous program partners.
Her background includes freelance writing, photography, community journalism, and working at the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
Jenna writes poetry and short stories, and is a voracious reader. She resides in Tremont, Maine.
Book jacket: "Dogsong," by Gary Paulsen
Alison Johnson, Program Assistant for Washington County
Alison supports the Program Director as a key link to IRW's school and community partners in Washington County and works to increase our presence and impact throughout the area. She also researches community partners who may be able to help forward our work around intergenerational reading experiences, and assists with pre-visit IRW orientations at schools.
She began her nonprofit work as director of the summer arts festival for Schoodic Arts for All and has served on several area nonprofit boards including the Schoodic Community Fund and, currently, the Dorcas Library board and RSU24 school board.
Alison is currently enrolled in the Voluntary Public Librarian Certification Program. She and her family reside in Birch Harbor, ME.
Book jacket: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," by J.K. Rowling.